Skip to main navigation

Catalogue Blog

Collaboration in Bloom

Conversations around “Collective Impact” and “Nonprofit Collaboration” continue to gain traction as more and more funders and nonprofits see the progress that happens when organizations gather together to leverage their collective resources, networks, and knowledge.

At the Catalogue, we hear countless examples of our nonprofits joining together to collaborate, innovate, and accomplish big goals. And since we believe in the power of nonprofits to spark big change, we want to help them leverage the power of collaboration as much as possible. Beginning in April, the Catalogue for Philanthropy will be debuting several new features on our website to promote nonprofit collaboration.

Collaborative Fundraising Campaigns
Collaborative Fundraising Campaigns (1)Our Collaborative Campaigns encourage the Catalogues network of 350+ charities to use their collective impact to tackle important issues in Greater Washington. With a common, clear goal in mind, two or more Catalogue nonprofits can fundraise together to achieve that goal. When a donor makes a gift to the campaign, funds are split evenly across the participating organizations. We’re excited to debut our Collaborative Campaigns this Thursday, April 7th with Girls on the Run councils of Greater Washington (DC, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia). You can preview their campaign for healthy & strong girls here.

Collaboration Corner Blog
Our Collaboration Corner blog posts will feature perspectives from two or more nonprofits that give readers an inside look at the collaborative process. From learning how the organizations came together, to what issue(s) they’re trying to tackle, any benefits/challenges along the way, and how the public can get involved in supporting their efforts, this blog not only serves to inform our community, but also nonprofits looking to glean “lessons learned” in the process of collaboration.

We’re excited to debut these features in April, and hope you’ll support those organizations collaborating with one another to create a greater, Greater Washington.

Want to get involved with a fundraiser, or submit a blog post? Contact us at

Around Town: 3/25 – 3/31

Around town template (3)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dementia Caregiving: Expanding the Family Caregiver Toolbox with Insight Memory Care Center

We all know that providing care for a family member with dementia can be challenging, and a caregiver’s needs often fall to the bottom of the priority list. Join us to learn resources and skills to reduce caregiver stress and promote well-being! Paul Raia, the keynote speaker, will present his Habilitation Therapy approach to help you focus on your loved ones’ remaining capacities rather than on what has been lost. Additional workshop sessions include the benefits of music and how it can be a key tool for coping for both the family caregiver and the care recipient. The workshop is free and open to the public; registration is required. Due to limited space, please let us know if you have RSVPed, but are no longer able to attend. Lunch will be provided! This workshop is presented by George Mason University, Virginia Center on Aging, Insight Memory Care Center, AARP Virginia, Fairfax County Area Agency on Aging, and the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter.

When: Wed Mar 30 2016 (09:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Insight Memory Care Center, Mazawey Education and Support Center, 3955 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030
Fee? no
Contact: Christi Clark, (703) 204-4664
For more information: click here

Thursday, March 31, 2016

LUNAFEST Fairfax 2016 with Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia

Join Girls on the Run of NOVA for LUNAFEST – a traveling collection of award-winning short films by, for, and about women. Come enjoy an evening of reflection, hope, and humor, and help raise funds to support Girls on the Run of NOVA as well as the Breast Cancer Fund. This season’s program of six selected films will compel discussion, make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings and motivate you to make a difference in your community. Incredibly diverse in style and content, LUNAFEST is united by a common thread of exceptional storytelling – by, for and about women. Purchase a VIP ticket and join us before the screening. You’ll meet Board members and other supporters while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres in the elegantly appointed private lounge overlooking Angelika’s stunning chandelier.

When: Thu Mar 31 2016 (5:30 PM – 9:30 PM)
Where: Anglika Film Center, 2911 District Avenue Fairfax, VA 22031, Fairfax, VA 22301
Fee? yes $25 General Admission, $55 VIP
Volunteer Info: Volunteers are needed to support set up, registration, check-in, silent auction monitoring, and clean up. Volunteers are needed in shifts, starting as early and 5pm and running until 10pm.
Contact: Emily Davis, (703) 273-3153
For more information: click here

Metro Shutdown Brings New Riders to Local Roads (and Trails!)

Last week the region watched — and waited — to see how the news of WMATA’s Metro shutdown would affect daily commutes. With more than 700,000 daily riders on metro trains, most riders who were unable to telework were left to take to the roads by bus or by car. But for one local organization, the shutdown was an opportunity to bring attention to another commuting alternative: bicycling!

Following last week’s announcement, Washington Area Bicyclist Association and its supporters sprang into action, encouraging commuters to give biking a try through guided bike pools across the region (#WMATAbikepool), distributing maps and tips on their blog, and meeting riders on local trails.

We caught up with Colin Browne, Communications Coordinator at WABA, to learn how they organized efforts so quickly following the news of the shutdown, and how they plan to carry this momentum forward through 2016 and beyond.

bikeawesomeHow did the concept for #WMATAbikepool start?

Colin: In the WABA office, as soon as we heard about the Metro shutdown, we knew it was going to be a big day for bike commuters, and more specifically, a big day for people to feel good about biking to work. We wanted to harness that enthusiasm before it just curdled into traffic schadenfreude. I put together a quick blog post and some social media posts that I hoped would set a welcoming tone for the conversation (especially on Twitter, which can drift into cynicism very quickly) and encourage folks to reach out to their coworkers and neighbors.

The idea for the #WMATAbikepool hashtag came from a member of our Women & Bicycles Facebook group named Anita Kinney, who used it and suggested that others do the same.

I think the hashtag worked because it was a grassroots idea that WABA was able to amplify. These sorts of campaigns, even when they happen very quickly, feel so much more organic when an organization can say “look at this cool thing that people are doing” rather than “You should use this hashtag.” It really provides an opportunity for people to feel good about the community that they’re a part of, instead of just having a logo and acronym telling them what to do.

Do you have a favorite “rider moment” from the day?

Colin: We set up a table to give away coffee and granola bars on the Met Branch Trail in Eckington. I showed up with my camera, planning to take a few photos of a busy trail and then head back to the office. I ended up staying for three and half hours and only took a dozen pictures because there were so many happy people to talk to. Data from DDOT said that biking on the trail was up 65%, and we gave away three times as much coffee as we normally do at our trailside coffee events.

My favorite rider moment was chatting with a woman who’d stopped for some coffee and was commuting on her bike for the first time. She had ridden twelve miles in from her home in Forest Glen on the Sligo Creek Trail. It was the longest ride she’d ever done, and she was beaming! She said she was already excited for the ride home.

Were there any big takeaways/key lessons that WABA learned on this day?

Colin: The experience really drove home how important it is to be able to not just react, but engage quickly with an opportunity like this. This could easily have been a situation where we pushed out some some generic, one-way content about biking to work and left it at that. Instead we had an authentic community moment that really let people feel how powerful their own energy and enthusiasm is.

What big projects is WABA currently working on?

Colin: We just finished off a yearlong strategic planning process and published a 5 year strategic plan. Out topline goals are to triple the number of people who ride bikes in the region by 2020, and ensuring that, by 2035, every resident in the region (we work in DC, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County) lives within 1 mile of a protected place to ride a bike.

To find out how you can get involved with WABA, visit

Around Town: 3/18 – 3/24

Around town template (2)


Friday, March 18 – Saturday March 19, 2016

Twenty Years with Love with Bowen McCauley Dance Company

Contemporary dance company Bowen McCauley Dance (BMD) celebrates Twenty Years with Love, a 20th anniversary performance and Soiree, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Terrace Theater on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. The program features the world premiere of Ars Amatoria, a playful interpretation of ancient roman poet Ovid’s instructional writings about the arts of seduction and love, with a commissioned score by Larry Alan Smith. Also on the program, a breathtaking solo danced to the music of Juilliard professor and composer Michael White, and a moving exploration of human connections performed to a live violin solo by J.S. Bach. A Platinum Soiree at The Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant celebrating the 20th anniversary follows the Saturday evening performance. Guests will mingle with the dancers and musicians and enjoy scrumptious bites, a two-decades toast, and an exclusive silent auction.

When: Fri Mar 18 2016 (7:00 PM)
Where: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Terrace Theater, 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566
Fee? yes Tickets are $40 and $45 and are available at The Kennedy Center Box Office, Individual Soiree reservations start at $150 and include preferred performance seating.
Contact: Joanna Janascius, (703) 910-5175
For more information: click here

Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016 “Hope Stroll” Indoor Walk & Family Day with Generation Hope

Generation Hope’s 3rd Annual Benefit Walk and Family Day, the “Hope Stroll,” will take place on Sunday, March 20, 2016, 10:00am – 12:30pm at Trinity Washington University (125 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20017)! The funds raised will help make a college degree possible for more teen mothers and teen fathers in the Washington, D.C. area. The “Hope Stroll” will be an inspiring event with fun activities for the whole family! We hope you will register to walk, collect pledges, get your friends and family involved, and help young parents reach the finish line! Please join us in this powerful experience to change lives. For questions or more information, please email Development and Events Manager, Jesseca Myers at

When: Sun Mar 20 2016 (10:00 AM – 12:30 PM)
Where: Trinity Center, 125 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20017
Fee? yes $25 for adults to walk, $10 for adults to just attend, kids are FREE
Contact: Jesseca Myers, (571) 318-9837
For more information: click here

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

City of Trees Film Screening with Washington Parks & People and Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

CITY OF TREES (US, 2015, 76 min.) At the height of the recession, a DC nonprofit struggles to implement an ambitious “green jobs” program that hires 150 unemployed residents to plant trees in underserved parks. With only six months until their grant money runs out, serious obstacles block their path and speak to deep rifts in the life of the city racial tensions, uneven government support, and locals who feel their voices have not been heard. But for the trainees the program represents something much more hopeful: the means to give a child a better life, a second chance after a conviction, or a path to community leadership. Directed by Brandon Kramer and produced by Lance Kramer, Meridian Hill Pictures. Discussion with filmmaker Brandon Kramer and Lance Kramer follows screening.

When: Wed Mar 23 2016 (7:00 PM – 8:30 PM)
Where: Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus (THEARC), 1901 Mississippi Ave., Washington, DC 20020
Fee? no
Contact: Molly Berg, (202) 342-2564
For more information: click here

Authentic Storytelling and the Nonprofit Sector

A_Banner_HomepageSince 2003, the Catalogue has relied on the art of storytelling to raise awareness about the work of our 350+ nonprofits. Whether through our print Catalogue, website, or events, we use storytelling to bring to life each charity’s programs, and impact. Spreading the word about our charities work is central to our mission, and we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to do this.

In a recent blog post, our friends at Meridian Hill Pictures tackled the topic of authenticity in storytelling, and how this topic was reflected in their feature film, CITY OF TREES. The film follows the stories of trainees and staff at Washington Parks and People (’14-’15) as they navigate the “inspiring but messy world of job training, and the roadblocks change makers face in urban communities everyday.” In conjunction with the film, Meridian Hill Pictures is launching a regular dialogue series titled Authentic Storytelling Moves People, in which they hope to bring together nonprofit leaders, independent filmmakers, and community members to talk openly about how they can all embrace more authentic storytelling to strengthen our community. Below is an excerpt from their blog:

“Whether in narrative or documentary, moving or still pictures, newspapers or tweets, we’re interested in exploring ways that society can elevate and reward authenticity, so that honest conversations are not withheld from the public sphere out of fear of losing funding, donations, support, or trust. We do not see authenticity as a sign of weakness rather, it requires courage. What if funders asked their grantees to demonstrate authenticity alongside impact? What if the public demanded authenticity as a form of accountability from public and private institutions? What if we all had the courage to create and tell more authentic stories?

In our first feature film, CITY OF TREES, we’ve attempted to embrace these values through an honest, character-driven story that challenges audiences to think deeply about the triumphs and struggles in making a long-term social impact within a non-profit organization… CITY OF TREES thrusts viewers into the inspiring but messy world of job training and the roadblocks changemakers face in urban communities everyday. Telling this kind of story required all parties — filmmakers, participants, funders, audiences — to embrace a certain unpredictability, lack of control, and reality that the ‘message’ would never be as perfectly conveyed through a people-centered story as through a tightly-crafted grant report, speech, tweet or fundraising video. Our hope has been that this kind of people-centered, reflective storytelling helps everyone to develop a more nuanced understanding of the issues, a meaningful connection to the stakeholders as individual people and not statistics, and a more-informed investment in the potential of possible solutions.”

Read the full blog post here.

Interested in checking out City of Trees? Join Meridian Hill Pictures at the DC Environmental Film Festival for the premiere of CITY OF TREES (or check the CITY OF TREES website for other festival screenings).


In anticipation of the screening, we caught up with Lance Kramer, Executive Director at Meridian Hill Pictures, to learn more about how the film came to fruition, and the potential it has to impact the nonprofit sector.

What conversation started Meridian Hill Picture’s involvement with Washington Parks and People?

Lance: In building a relationship, particularly one between a filmmaker and a subject, there are so many conversations that play a role…. more that I can count. The evolution of our relationship started when we first moved into the Josephine Butler Parks Center, continued through visiting the Corps members’ work site at the North Columbia Heights Green, a participatory video training we facilitated with the Corps members, then the bulk of the filming with all of the participants to follow the story of the grant. We realized that there was something really interesting and complex going on in both the spaces where the Corps was working, in the lives on the people and the organization.

What role do you see the film playing in the nonprofit space?

Lance: I think there’s a lot of interest, concern and confusion about embracing storytelling in the nonprofit community. What is storytelling and what does it mean for a nonprofit? There isn’t just one right answer. I hope that one outcome of the people in the film placing their trust in us and allowing themselves to be vulnerable, is to help others understand how hard change can be and allow others in the field to take a deep breath and feel ok with sharing the struggles that we all face. I hope others see that storytelling can be a powerful place to have a meaningful dialogue around successes and challenges, and that honesty can have a positive impact on the organizations serving our community. I hope the film shows that the march towards truth requires people to have trust in each other, the storytellers, and in the potential of honest stories to move people.

cityoftrees2If you could have one group of people see the film and talk about it, who would that be?

Lance: Only one group? I think nonprofit funders are an important audience for this film because they have the power to change the mechanics of how programs can impact our communities. We hope this film can help people build stronger relationships and understanding between people at the top, the staffs who design and implement programs, and the community members who are most closely impacted by programs. We can only benefit by strengthening communication and empathy for the struggles and needs all of these stakeholders face.

If every person who sees the film can walk away asking themselves one question, what should that question be?

Lance: Where do I fit in? This film isn’t about “other” people- it deals with issues that affect all of us. I hope people watching the film take a moment to look inward, to see that we are all connected and part of a system. Through the film and this kind of storytelling, maybe, it can help people think about where they fit into that system, and what each one of us can be doing or thinking differently in order to increase positive outcomes in our communities.

Check out the CITY OF TREES this week at the DC Environmental Film Festival (or visit the CITY OF TREES website for other festival screenings)!

Around Town: 3/11-3/17

Around town template

Friday, March 11, 2016

Party Like It’s 1976 – JOMDC 40th Anniversary Gala at Joy of Motion Dance Center

This spring marks JOMDC’s 40th anniversary and we are celebrating the occasion with a special concert at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature our top-tier youth companies, resident arts partners, and faculty, followed by a cake and champagne reception and disco dance party! Proceeds from the events go right back to our youth, adult, and community outreach programs.

When: Fri Mar 11 2016 (7:30 PM)
Where: The Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Fee? yes $75 single ticket, $300 individual/family sponsorship
Contact: Karen Zhang, (202) 813-9505 ext 705
For more information: click here

Saturday, March 12, 2016

YPT’s Giving Voice Award Gala at Young Playwrights’ Theater

Celebrate Young Playwrights’ Theater’s work with our signature brand of eclectic elegance. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeurves and an open bar, bid on unique silent auction prizes and dance the night away in the beautiful North Hall at Eastern Market! Most importantly, YPT’s gala will once again highlight the inspiring voices of DC students, featuring readings by some of the wonderful young people we serve! We can’t wait to share their work with you. The YPT Giving Voice Award recognizes extraordinary individuals who have exemplified YPT’s spirit and vision by giving voice to the voiceless and inspiring others to realize their full potential. We are proud to honor Michael Kahn with our 2015 Giving Voice Award. All proceeds to benefit YPT’s programming, helping us inspire thousands of local students to discover the power and value of their voices and stories in the coming year, and beyond.

When: Sat Mar 12 2016 (7:00 PM – 11:00 PM)
Where: North Hall at Eastern Market, 225 Seventh Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003
Fee? yes Tickets $100; Producer-Level Tickets $150; Producing Sponsorship $500 (includes 2 producer-level tickets)
Contact: Alison, (202) 387-9173

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

City of Trees Film Screening with Washington Parks & People and Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

CITY OF TREES (US, 2015, 76 min.) Washington, DC Premiere: At the height of the recession, a DC nonprofit struggles to implement an ambitious “green jobs” program that hires 150 unemployed residents to plant trees in underserved parks. With only six months until their grant money runs out, serious obstacles block their path and speak to deep rifts in the life of the city racial tensions, uneven government support, and locals who feel their voices have not been heard. But for the trainees the program represents something much more hopeful: the means to give a child a better life, a second chance after a conviction, or a path to community leadership. Directed by Brandon Kramer and produced by Lance Kramer, Meridian Hill Pictures. Discussion with filmmaker Brandon Kramer and Lance Kramer follows screening. Tickets, $10. Reservations required.

When: Wed Mar 16 2016 (7:00 PM – 8:30 PM)
Where: Carnegie Institution for Science, Elihu Root Auditorium, 1530 P St., NW, Washington, DC 20005
Fee? yes $10
Contact: Molly Berg, (202) 342-2564
For more information: click here

Around Town 3/2 – 3/10

Around town template

Thursday, March 03, 2016

BWS: Annual Dinner with Bishop John T Walker School for Boys

Proceeds from the 7th Annual Dinner directly support the Bishop Walker School and its 90 students in grades JK through 6th. BWS was founded in 2008 as the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s response to the serious educational challenges facing African American boys in low-income communities east of the Anacostia River. We strive to alter the educational and social trajectory of boys of limited economic means and prepare them for a life of leadership and service in their community and beyond.

When: Thu Mar 3 2016 (6:30 PM)
Where: The Willard Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004
Fee? yes Please contact Suzanne Burrows at
Contact:Suzanne Burrows, (202) 591-3074

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Caregiver Bootcamp: Dementia 101 at Insight Memory Care Center

Join IMCC for a special day-long training event covering many essential caregiving topics! The bootcamp will include presentations from experts in the fields of financial planning, medical issues, legal needs, and care management.

Bootcamp Schedule:
10:00 am – 10:45am | Dementia Overview Learn more about the medical aspects of the disease, including an overview of the types of dementia, and the current state of research in the field.
10:45 am – 11:30 am | Legal Needs There are many legal needs to be taken care of such as powers of attorney, wills and estates, guardianships, and trusts. An elder law attorney will lead this discussion on steps to get your legal needs on the right track.
11:45 am – 12:30 pm | Caregiver Resources Caregiving is tough! Learn more about what caregiver resources are available in our area, and how these services may be able to help lighten your caregiving load.
12:30 pm – 1:15 pm | Financial Needs The financial costs of long term care and long term caregiving are enormous. Presented by a financial manager with expertise in long term care planning, explore some of your options for this important aspect of caregiving.
1:15 pm – 2:00 pm | Understanding Behaviors For those with memory impairments, sometimes the only form of communication provided is through behavior, both positive and negative. Learn the process for understanding difficult behaviors.
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm | Panel Discussion There is a lot of information to take in! We will recap the day with a caregiver panel discussion; bring your questions and we will discuss how to best put today’s ideas into practice!

When: Sat Mar 5 2016 (09:30 AM – 3:00 PM)
Where: Insight Memory Care Center, Mazawey Education and Support Center, 3955 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030
Fee? no
Contact: Christi Clark, (703) 204-4664
For more information: click here

Biker Barre Classes for GOTR-DC at Girls on the Run – DC

Join us at Biker Barre on Saturday, March 5th for a fun afternoon including a special bike and barre class, fun giveaways, snacks and organic tonics. Classes are $20 each and expected to sell out quickly. Don’t miss this great work out! Take a new class or an old favorite!! Both bike and barre classes benefit Girls on the Run – DC! Biker Barre is a first of its kind studio on the Hill. Offering intense, music-driven classes on bikes and at the barre, they’re bringing their own breed of intense, effective workouts to GOTR-DC supporters to raise funds for young girls!! The afternoon schedule is as follows: 1:00 pm – Event check-in 1:10 pm – Bike class starts 1:20 pm – Barre class starts 2:05 pm – Bike class get out 2:10 pm – Barre class get out 2: 05 pm – 2:30 pm – Reception 2:30 pm – Giveaways Get your tickets today as spots are limited to 45. (30 spots for bike and 15 for barre)

When: Sat Mar 5 2016 (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Where: Biker Barre, 738 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Fee? yes $20
Contact: Kelly Makimaa, (832) 443-8909
For more information: click here

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Breakfast of Champions at City Year Washington, DC

Join City Year Washington, DC for a Breakfast of Champions! Hear from our corps members about their service in District of Columbia public schools and enjoy networking over bagels and coffee.

When: Wed Mar 9 2016 (08:30 AM – 09:30 AM)
Where: 1875 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20009
Fee? no
Contact: Sarah Cotter, (202) 742-7378
For more information: click here